Beautiful Roman Christian noblewoman. Sister of Saint Anatolia. The two sisters were set for arranged marriages to noble Roman pagans, and were hesitant. Victoria argued that it would be all right as the patriarchs in the Old Testament had been married; but Anatolia cited other examples to prove that for the holiest lives, they should devote themselves to God and stay single. Victoria was convinced, sold her jewelry, gave the money to the poor, and refused to go through with the wedding to a fellow named Eugenius.
The two suitors insisted on the weddings, and the sisters refused. The young men denouced the women as Christians, but obtained authority to imprison them their estates, in hopes of breaking their faith and changing their minds. The women converted their servants and guards sent to watch them. Anatolia’s suitor, Titus Aurelius, soon gave up, and handed her back to the authorities. Eugenius stayed at it for years, alternating between good and harsh treatment of Victoria, but eventually even he gave up, and returned her to the authorities. She was martyred by order of Julian, prefect of the Capitol and count of the temples.
Modern research indicates their story is most likely pious fiction that was mistaken for history.
- stabbed through the heart in 250 by the executioner Liliarcus at Tabulana, Italy
- legend says her murderer was immediately struck with leprosy, and died six days later, eaten by worms
- “Saint Victoria”. Saints.SQPN.com. 2 May 2010. Web. 20 June 2013. <http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-victoria/>